Postal abbreviations allowed. The gain or loss since 2008, reflects the gain or loss in electoral votes for the 2012 election for each state compared to its allocation in the 2008 election. The changes in electoral votes reflect changes in population as measured by the 2010 census. The electoral vote allocation for the 2008 election was determined by the 2000 census. Each state is allocated an electoral vote for each senator and representative in that state's congressional delegation. The number of senators is fixed at two for each state, while the number of representatives is determined by the state's population. Therefore, a state's electoral votes correlate directly with its population. The number of electoral votes is fixed at 538. The number needed to become president is 50% + 1 or 270.